Power of Mantra

For many, mantra sounds like a hex from Harry Potter. However, mantra is a scientific tool to literally cleanse our mind. How and from what?
The Sanskrit word Mantra मन्त्र is a composition of two words: manas (mind) and trai (cleanse, liberate). Therefore, mantra is a tool to calm down the thoughts in our mind. Now what is mind?
Generally the śāstra (yogic science) says, that mind consists of pranic body (prānamaya kośa), emotional body (manomaya kośa) and wisdom or intellectual body (vijñānamaya kośa). I don’t go into much detail on these, as it would take many pages of writing. The important thing to know is, that mind consists of different parts. As prāna, our vital energy, is the bridge between body and mind and all “bodies” remain in constant interaction, mantra also influences our physical body through prana in the form of sound vibration of our bodily functions.
Mantras were originally “composed” or expressed in Sanskrit. It is believed that Sanskrit is not man-made but was revealed to the ṛṣis (wisemen) during their transcendental meditations. Those of you, who are using mantra regularly for your own yoga practice can surely affirm this. Just like other ancient wisdom based disciplines, also yoga is experience based, even though, today, the neuro-linguistic effect of mantras is widely known and could be measured and proven through scientific experiments.
According to the Indian tradition, mantras are chanted to the dying as it is believed that the last thing you hear or think about will influence your future birth. Makes sense to me.
I personally like the approach of blending science and philosophy, however, I didn’t need any scientific proof on this one. Some of my life experiences were the best proof to me.
First time I started to work more intensely with mantras was during my pregnancy, when I used to chant Lalita Sahasranāma (thousand names of Mother Goddess) everyday. I was struck by the power of this 40 minutes chant as I approached birth with 0 worries and also 0 information. 🙂 That time my mantra was sufficient.
Later I used mantras to bring Gayatri and other babies 🙂 to sleep or chant when she was angry. It used to help not only the child but also the mother. 🙂
Second milestone in my life experience was when Gayatri was 4 years old and was admitted to ICU during our travels through Bhutan with acute pneumonia and her chance of survival was only 50%. When she stopped responding, I started chanting mantras. I don’t know how long I sat there that night beside her bed. But one thing I knew: the mantra gave me faith and strength and I think Gayatri’s subconscious mind reconnected with the vibrations chanted in the womb and next day she sat up on her hospital bed and asked for food. That time I knew the worst was over.
This is my personal experience with mantra.
Hari Om Tat Sat